Allen had a monster game working against Lively, as he scored 24 points (on 9-of-17 shooting from the field) while grabbing 23 rebounds. He also added six assists and two steals in the win.
Despite having such a big game against the rookie, Allen gave Lively a lot of credit for how he’s played so far this season.
“Honestly, I’m a big fan of Dereck Lively,” Allen said. “I keep up with him as a rookie. He’s been excellent this year at getting rebounds and just positioning. So, not necessarily a mismatch, I just feel like he didn’t have the best game for himself tonight.”
Lively didn’t do much for Dallas, as he put up just four points and grabbed just four rebounds in the team’s loss. As a team, the Mavericks were outrebounded 57-37 by the Cavs on Wednesday night.
Allen also offered some advice for Lively when talking about the ups and downs of a rookie season in the NBA.
“For me, growing up – for my rookie year – just watch a lot of film with the guys that’s been in your position and try to take things from everybody ahead of you,” Allen said. “He’s lucky to be able to play with Luka [Doncic] to be able to get a lot of reps, a lot of shots because people are going to collapse on him.
“And don’t get down on yourself. You’re going to have a long career in this league. And enjoy every step of the way.”
It’s great to see Allen offering such great advice to the rookie, especially since Allen had such a great game against him. The Cavs center didn’t take the strong performance as a way to put down the Mavs rookie, but he tried to lift him up instead.
This season, Lively is averaging 9.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.5 blocks in 25.6 minutes per game. He’s started 24 of the 25 games he’s appeared in for Dallas.
The Mavericks are hoping Lively can develop into an anchor at the center position after he was drafted with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
As for Allen, he’s going to continue to be relied on heavily in the Cavs frontcourt with Evan Mobley sidelined. With Wednesday’s win in the books, the Cavs are now 18-13 and hold the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.